Central State hires former NFL player as head football coach

Central State University has selected former NFL player Kevin Porter as its new head football coach.

Porter comes to CSU with nearly two decades of coaching experience, including head coaching stints at Fort Valley State University, Avila University and Point University.

“During our national search, we received an influx of interest from qualified candidates. Throughout the process, Coach Porter stood out as the person with the right mindset and characteristics best suited to lead Marauder football into a new era. Coach Porter comes to CSU with a championship pedigree and a wide array of experiences as a coach and player on all levels of the game.” CSU Athletic Director Tara A. Owens said in a release. “Under Coach Porter’s guidance, we believe our student-athletes will flourish on the field and in the classroom. As Coach Porter prepares to lead our football program, we look forward to establishing a sustainable culture of positivity and success.”

Porter will make his CSU coaching debut in September against Winston Salem State University at the Black College Football Hall of Fame Classic in Canton.

“It is an honor to be selected to lead the football program at Central State University. CSU has tremendous history and tradition. With the opportunity to work alongside the dynamic and innovative leadership of President Jack Thomas and Director of Athletics Tara A. Owens, I believe we can build CSU into a perennial championship contender,” Porter said in a release. “As the University continues to experience a period of growth and unprecedented success, we are going to build a football program that represents Central State University with pride and integrity. I look forward to leading our student-athletes as we move forward into a new era of Marauder football.”

At FVSU, Porter led the Wildcats to the 2016 SIAC Championship and returned to the title game in 2017. Porter’s four-year tenure at FVSU is considered to be one of the most successful eras in Wildcat football history. During his time coaching at FVSU, Porter earned SIAC Coach of the Year honors once and developed 19 All-SIAC student-athletes.

Porter began his coaching career in the Arena Football League in 2000. He was the head coach with the Pensacola Barracudas in 2000, the Macon Knights from 2001 to 2003 and the Kansas City Brigade from 2006 to 2008.

In 2009, Porter served as defensive coordinator for Mid America Nazarene University, where his unit ranked as one of the best in the Heart of America Conference. In 2010, Porter took over as the head football coach and athletic director at Avila University. The next season, he served in the same roles at Point University. Before his assignment at FVSU, Porter was the assistant head coach & secondary coach at the University of West Georgia.

Porter played collegiately at Auburn University. During his time as a Tiger, Porter was four-year starter. He earned All-American honors and was selected to the All-Southeastern Conference Team twice. In 1984, Porter was named Defensive MVP in the Liberty Bowl and earned a spot on Auburn’s Team of the Century.

A third-round pick by the Kansas City Chiefs in the 1988 NFL Draft, Porter made an immediate impact during his first season, appearing in 15 games and making seven starts. At the conclusion of the season, Porter was selected to the NFL All-Rookie Team as a safety. He spent six years in the NFL, ending his career with the New York Jets.

Porter and his wife, Annjela, have two sons, Jacob and Kellen.

Central State University will hold an on-campus press conference in January to publicly introduce Porter .